She hung her head in shame as she made her way toward the offering box, hoping no one would notice her.
The temple treasury was crowded with richly robed people, and she was embarrassed at her own pitiful rags. The wealthy worshipers were dropping huge offerings in the box, and onlookers jaws were dropping at their largess. Oohs and ahhs of admiration could be heard as gold coins cascaded out of the donors’ bags into the box. How humiliated the widow felt clutching her two small coins. Suddenly she saw an opportunity to slip up to the box, toss in her offering, then steal away unnoticed. She was relieved that no one had observed her. Well, almost no one…
And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” Mark 12:42-44
Jesus sees even the smallest acts of obedience and kindness believers do in his Name. He noticed the widow’s penny. He promises to reward us if we give even a cup of water to one of his disciples. On judgment day we will say, “Lord, when did we feed you when you were hungry or clothe you when you were poor or visit you when you were sick?” And he’ll say, “Every time you did it to the least of my children, you did it to me.”
Jesus doesn’t miss a thing
God has numbered the very hairs on our heads. Not a sparrow falls apart from our Father. The God who hears the raven’s cry catches every prayer we breathe in secret. The God who stores up our individual tears in his bottle heard that word of encouragement to your brother last week and remembers the classes you taught in Children’s Ministry ten years ago. He caught you slipping that sister a $20 bill for food last month.
Joy in heaven
Sometimes we feel like if I can’t do something big for God, why bother. My dollar in the offering basket isn’t going to matter. What good is my prayer going to do for that sister with the huge need? Those 3-year-olds probably won’t remember a word I said in Children’s Ministry this past Sunday. Very few of us can do “big” things for God. Yet God considers our “small” sacrifices to be huge in his sight. Someday, in heaven, Jesus will bring out all the things we did for him that we’ve completely forgotten about and reward us for them. Can you imagine our joy and surprise when he does that? Can you imagine the widow’s joy when Jesus brings out the mountain of rewards her two copper coins produced? Let’s be faithful to sow our “pennies”, and do as much as we can by his grace and for his glory, even if our service or gifts seem insignificant. Because every penny we sacrifice is significant to God.